When its on 3.55 ofw am i able to downgrade with cfw or do i need a downgrader like e3 or progskeet? I am very interested in the console and also to your friend who could do the reballing. Where are you located?
OFW 3.55 is the golden spot, the version you don't have to downgrade or upgrade from. You can simply just install CFW 3.55, 4.21, or 4.30. without any hardware mod. (Also the CECH, (60gb) is the version that allows ps2 games).
As for the old Phat's you have, they need to be downgraded with progskeet, since they have either 1 or 2 NAND chips, and the E3 is a clip-on made for NOR chips only. Reballing them is no sure-fire way to get them back to life, especially if you already tried to heat up the motherboard with other means. I.E. nasty heatgun trick, or other like it.
Doing that weakens the motherboards resistance to heat, and might popcorn the board itself when doing reballing (Just as a precaution, it is wise to give reballer all facts about the machine you want to reball). Also... look at my profile..